It's Maine! It's Art!
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What's up with these new Maine flags we see around?
The Great State of Maine achieved Statehood in 1820. Until the early 1900's the state did not have an official state flag. Until then various versions were used, primarily based on the original Maine Militia flag first commissioned shortly after statehood.
In 1901 Maine legislature adopted its first official state flag that had design elements comprising of a green colored white pine tree and a blue star on a buff-colored background. The flag was unlike any flag flown anywhere in the world, making it a standout for it's simplicity and colors.
The legislative committee that designed the newly adopted flag comprised mainly of seamen. The flag was very similar to the bold colors and simplistic designs of nautical flags. The idea was that the flag seen from a distance would be easy to recognize with the simple symbols. It also had no words so that it could be read from either side. The blue star symbolized the North Star. The tree represented the conifers that line the vast Maine coast. That original flag flew atop the rotunda at Maine Capital in Augusta. There is only one known original flag in existence.
By 1909 the Maine legislature was made up of many men who were Civil War Veterans. They wanted a a new flag design that resembled battle flags from the war. Most Union flags had a blue background, making them distinguishable from the red Confederate flags from states south of the Mason Dixon Line. After several design reviews the blue flag, with the highly detailed state seal, was adopted.
More than 100 years later the same flag is still in use today. Overly detailed images include a farmer and a sailor standing on either side of a moose lying under a pine tree that includes a crest. The north star is above the image with Maine's motto: Dirigo. Translated from Latin it means “I lead”. Below the cluster of images is a banner proclaiming, “Maine”. The North American Vexillological Association (folks who study flags) recently rated the Maine state flag as one of the worst flag designs of all the states.
Really? Who needs that rating? And from vexillologics too boot. And a moose under a pine tree that looks like a dog next to a Jotul woodstove? C'mon! We say, it is time for a change! Bring back a more simple flag image version that is steeped in rich Maine history
The Great State of Maine is known for rugged beauty. The challenge of the landscape and climate have given Maine a distinct significance where people of character beyond economic and political power reside, facing all the challenges that come with living in this state. We know because we live here!
So as Maine residents of character and humor, we have created a new look with our version. It has a contemporary design element based on the original Maine flag in use until 1909. Maybe if we have extra time on our hands, we'll head to the Maine Legislature and see about introducing a new Maine state flag image concept richly steeped in history.
Hang this image as a flag or sticker as pride of the Great State of Maine. Show your colors!
Custom flag sizes available on request.